Yuri Vámos
Scene photo Julien Sorel 1
© Eduard Straub
Scene photo Julien Sorel 2
© Eduard Straub
Scene photo Julien Sorel 3
© Eduard Straub
Scene photo Julien Sorel 4
© Eduard Straub

Julien Sorel

Ballet by Youri Vámos
based on the novel »Le Rouge et le Noir« by Stendahl
Music by Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
Choreographical assistance: Joyce Cuoco
Stage and costumes: Michael Scott
Lightdesign: Klaus Gärditz
Duration: 1 ¾ hours

World premiere 1988 Theater Dortmund

Stendhal's novel Rouge et noir tells us the story of the young and ambitious, but equally ruthless and hypocritical Julien Sorel, a broken hero who spares nothing and nobody on his way to the top.

Youri Vámos was enthusiastic from the start about this tragic figure, who provided him with the inspiration for the ballet Julien Sorel, first seen at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in the 2005/6 season.

The public and the Press alike were rapturous about Vámos' rendering of the novel into the language of dance, and covered the soloists of the Rheinoper with praise: »In an outstanding solo the peasant's son carries out his transformation into a systematic dissembler of hearts« (WZ); «With strong elevation and expression he (Jörg Simon) paints a convincing portrait of the tragic figure« (NRZ). Although Julien Sorel often burns the boats that transport him into the upper social class, little scenes occur in which the central figure's true nature is veiled and his accessibility for love becomes apparent: »Yet Love unfolds above all between Simon as Sorel and Yamashiro as Mathilde in a beautiful pas de deux. Such classic ballet romanticism is altogether the best aspect of this Julien Sorel« (RP).

The story of Sorel, equipped with his »malicious victory sneer« (WZ), does not however only enchant by means of its thrilling soloists, but also with the »skilful blend of its Edward Elgar music (NRZ): the Duisburg Philharmonic unleash a «sensuously luxuriant sound« (NRZ) that draws the audience into its slipstream and ennobles the story: »Edward Elgar's late-romantic tones lift the whole to another new level; to his cello concerto and to the slow movement of his second symphony Youri Vámos presents opulent vistas« (WAZ), he conceives »martial scenes recalling battle-painting and socialist realism« (NRZ).

The tension sources of the story so vividly rendered by Vámos are also evoked in the variety of stage and costume designs: »Michael Scott's set mirrors the timelessness of the material, while his costumes pay tribute to its date« (WAZ).

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